A big thank you to Sara Wagner with The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild for this post!
Natural and sustainable living is becoming very popular these days. Everyone is becoming more mindful of what they consume, and how they consume it; why should body care be any different?
Handcrafted soap has been in existence since the early days of humanity. For thousands of years, humans have craved the pleasant feeling of a well made soap, and we have been perfecting the art of crafting it ever since.
There are many options for soap on the market, and although it may seem easier and more cost effective to just buy a bar of big-brand soap, let us change your mind with these six reasons why you should make the switch.
#1: You Can Pronounce the Ingredients
Handmade soap is made by a jack of all trades; your neighborhood Handcrafter is a chemist, a perfumer, an artist, a botanist, and an entrepreneur. Handcrafters seek out the most natural and skin-loving ingredients to put in their bars, and it shows in the craftsmanship you purchase with each one. Typical soaps will contain common materials like olive, palm and coconut oils, as well as sodium hydroxide, water, fragrance and exfoliants such as lavender buds, coffee, or sea salt.
Don’t let the inclusion of sodium hydroxide (also known as lye) dissuade you; although the soapmaker must use lye in order to make the soap, it is not present in the final product, and you can be sure your Handcrafter has tested it to be on the safe side!
#2: Everyone Can Use It.
Handcrafted soap is a very inclusive category of body care. Are you allergic to most fragrances? That’s alright, there are many Handcrafters who make unscented bars just for you! Do you have allergies to a specific oil or additive? No problem. A bar can most likely be made for you. Are you Vegan, and want to avoid using products that contain animal materials? Perfect! Many Handcrafters either make a Vegan product on purpose, or have a product in their line that is Vegan-friendly. If you have a soapmaker in your area, it is highly likely that they will be willing to work with you to accommodate your needs; after all, they are passionate about providing a superior shower experience for everyone.
#3: That Smell.
Sure, mass produced soap smells good. But have you ever smelled handcrafted soap? It’s incredible! Warm and rich, bouncy and floral, deep and mysterious; Handcrafters are masters at crafting an olfactory experience that compliments the effects of their bars.
#4: Handcrafters Help the Environment
Handmade soaps are less likely to contain a harmful or aggressive ingredient that could cause damage to the environment when it is washed down your drain. Due to the saponification process, the sodium hydroxide used in the initial formulation is not present and will not do damage to you or anything it contacts once you wash it away.
Handcrafters are also more likely to use responsibly sourced products and materials. Natural, organic and fair trade are frequently used words in this industry, and Handcrafters are vigilant when it comes to the origin of their products. Know that your soap has been made with care and most importantly, consideration.
#5: Variety is the Spice of Soap
Handcrafters are artists. They create swirling patterns, intricate designs and pleasing visuals, all with soap! Natural and synthetic colorants are a creative soaper’s best friend, and make a stunning final product (without dying your skin purple, pink and teal, of course). But, as any Handcrafter will tell you; even though the soap is gorgeous, don’t be afraid to use it!
#6: You Are Supporting Your Community
Handcrafters are your neighbors, your friends, your family. They are the backbone of your community, and their entrepreneurial spirit combined with the same passion of their fellow small business owners is so important to a thriving local economy. When you purchase anything, including a bar of soap, from a local small business you are encouraging a the dream of business freedom and community pride. Think of it as a personal investment in a strong, vibrant community!
Bonus Reason: Handcrafters
Handcrafters spend their time formulating, attending educational events like the HSCG’s Annual Conference, and crafting products specifically intended to make you feel as wonderful as you look. What big brand bar of soap could possibly do that?
Are you ready to make the switch? Check out our Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Directory to find your new favorite product:
Arnica has been used widely since the 1500's to heal sore muscles, bruises and cuts. As with most true medicine, it is toxic in large amounts but when used topically, can improve conditions drastically within a matter of hours or days. The flower is also used after wisdom teeth removal and for insect bites.
Riverdance is now providing massage bars with Arnica oil in them, see our store for ordering as well as info about our coconut and cucumber-mint massage bars.
For more information about Arnica specifically, see this empirically based article by: WebMD.
We all want to grow wiser and more clear on our paths of life, but few of us want to show the signs of that growth. We can preserve our skin so it stays happy an healthy for years to come by introducing Sage into our weekly or daily routines.
The antioxidants in sage reverse the signs of ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. These antioxidants provide protection against free radicals that damage skin cells, causing premature ageing of the skin. This herb is loaded with calcium and vitamin A, which protect your skin against the assault of free radicals and aid in daily cell regeneration, minimizing and delaying the onset of facial wrinkles.
Sage oil also benefits as a great toner by regulating sebum production in oily complexion. You can prepare a home-made toner by boiling a spoonful of sage in about 250 ml water. Steep for 30 minutes and strain the concoction. Dab it on your face after cooling.
The antibacterial properties of this amazing herb prevent the occurrence of skin infections. It also possesses antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which help cure acne as well as relieve the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis.
You can find sage in one of my favorite RDS products-Rosemary Scrubby, as well as shredded loofah to help your skin integrate the nourishment and wisdom it deserves. Thanks for reading!
Most people wouldn’t choose “healthy” as a word to describe cocoa butter. More likely, they would go with something like, “delicious,” or “flavorful.” In actuality however, cocoa butter serves a number of purposes – several of those, being beneficial to our health.
Cocoa butter, also known as cacao butter, is expeller pressed from the roasted seeds of the cacao tree, a native of Africa. For centuries, cocoa has been used as both a component in food and a moisturizer for the body. Today, you can find cocoa butter in a number of products as an ingredient added for its moisturizing abilities.
As a stand-alone ingredient, cocoa butter is a solid fat, hard at room temperature but melts upon contact with the skin. One of the most stable, highly concentrated natural fats, cocoa butter absorbs quickly into the skin, making it an ideal moisturizing component. Cocoa butter also lays down a protective barrier on the skin, which guards against the skin losing moisture. Products that contain cocoa butter are commonly used to improve skin elasticity, reduce dryness and treat skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. Pregnant women are often advised to use cocoa butter frequently as a way to prevent and treat stretch marks.
Aside from its skin care benefits cocoa butter may also serve our bodies on a deeper level. Recent research suggests that when used topically, it may act as a stress reliever and immune system booster. Cocoa butter contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals and is especially rich in vitamin E. Another substance found in cocoa butter, cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP) has been said to protect against symptoms of dermatitis and asthma by inhibiting the production of immunoglobulin E – a catalyst to symptoms of both conditions. There is also evidence that CMP may help prevent heart disease and symptoms of arthritis, which is why cocoa butter is often used in aromatherapy massage.
Natural cocoa butter has a warm, chocolaty scent. For those whom don’t care for the chocolate scent to come through in their products, refined cocoa butter is available. Refined cocoa butter is a lighter shade, almost an off-white or tan color with no scent.
One of several topically influential butters, cocoa can improve overall health and well-being when used as an ingredient in a daily moisturizer or other body care product. It is important to remember that upkeep of the entire body is essential, as each and every part works together in so many ways. Find your delicious daily dose of cocoa butter in the Riverdance store in The Other Walking Stick
and in our all natural, aluminum free Deodorant collection to enjoy the many benefits.
Word! Thalassotherapy is the therapeutic use of the ocean, marine plants and sea mud. The practice of thalassotherapy has been used for thousands of years, since the Greeks began to proclaim its benefits. The thought (which is now scientifically proven) behind this practice is that repeated exposure to sea air, immersion in warm sea water and treating the skin and body with ocean-based ingredients help to return the body to a natural chemical balance, restoring youthful vitality and vigor.
Ingredients that are ocean-based that are used in thalassotherapy include sea salt, mud, algae, sea kelp and seaweed. Some of these can be used directly on the skin, such as mud or a seaweed wrap. You can also soak in a sea salt bath. Others, like sea kelp are purified and powdered and then added as an essential ingredient into skin care products. Each of these ingredients can also be used in addition to other ingredients in skin care products, such as including sea salt and powdered seaweed into a body scrub formula.
Benefits of using ocean-based ingredients include detoxified skin, smoother skin, more even skin tone, as well as cell-regeneration benefits that boost collagen and help smooth away fine lines and wrinkles.
You don’t have to go to a specialized thalassotherapy spa to experience these benefits. Besides, there are no true thalassotherapy spas in the United States – most are located in Europe and Africa. Instead, look for products that contain sea-based ingredients or simply use a scoop of sea salt in a bath or use a Dead Sea mud masque on your face or all over your body. Using products with sea-based minerals just once a week can help improve your skin. You can reap the benefits of these mineral-rich ingredients and be on your way to looking and feeling better.
Our Sea Veggie, and Complexion soaps have some of these wonderful ingredients in them.
Remember, the FDA has not evaluated the above statements. The information presented here is for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
Thank you for your trust in our products and in Team Suds! We're comfortable in our skin . . . are you?